What is a cable?

While there are many varieties of cables, electrical cables are made up of two or more wires that run parallel to one another and are bonded, twisted, or braided together in order to form a single unit. The end of each assembled unit can be connected to devices, allowing electrical signals to be transferred from one device to the other.

What are cables used for?

Cables can be constructed to fit a certain purpose. For example, cables are often used in electronic devices for power and signal circuits, in long-distance communication place for mass transmission of alternating and direct current power, and of course, used in building construction for lighting, power and control circuits.

Power Cable.
Power Cable.

The word “cable” originally referred to a nautical line comprised of multiple ropes tied together to produce a strong thick line that was water-resistant and could anchor large ships.

In the mechanical field, cables are commonly referred to as wire ropes are used for lifting and hauling force. In the electrical engineering field, cables are a reliable means of transporting electric currents.

Examples of electrical cables include: coaxial cables, heliax cables, communications cables, direct-buried cables, twinax cables, ribbon cables.

Electrical cables have multiple conductors and include insulations, optional screens, individual coverings, assembly protection and protective coverings.  In order to create more flexible cables, you could twist the wires together and produce larger wires that are more flexible and durable. Braiding small wires together actually adds more flexibility to them – even more than just a single cable that same size.

If there are copper wires in a cable, they could be bare or coated with another material (usually tin, gold or silver) in order to lengthen the lifespan of the cable and make soldering easier. Another cable aspect worth noting is tinning. Tinning is a means of lubricating the stands of wire. The process of securing and fastening different cables is referred to a trunking.

Some known cable manufacturers include Allied Wire & Cable, TE Wire & Cable, and Alpha Wire.

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